Author Archives: Global Urban History

The City as a Palimpsest and Crucible of National Identity

By Alexander C. Diener, University of Kansas, and Joshua Hagen, Northern State University The tendency of successive regimes to rework commemorative landscapes speaks to the intrinsic and intricate linkages between place, memory, and identity. We affix memories and identities to urban space … Continue reading

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An Unlikely Environmentalism: Mexico City’s Urban Ecological Thought in the Age of Development

By Matthew Vitz, University of California San Diego Considering Mexico City epitomized environmental catastrophe for much of the 1980s and 1990s, one would not expect it to have been a bastion of innovative urban ecological thinking during the middle of … Continue reading

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Dakar, Senegal: Cosmopolitan Interwar City

By Kathleen Keller, Gustavus Adolphus College One of largest cities in West Africa, Dakar, Senegal sits at the western-most tip of the continent. Now home to a population of over two million people, Dakar of today is the capital of … Continue reading

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Reading the City from the Streets

Kenda Mutongi. Matatu: A History of Popular Transportation in Nairobi. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 2017. 350 pp., US$ 30.00 (paper). Reviewed by Norman Aselmeyer, European University Institute In Nairobi, it is a hopeless task to guard oneself against … Continue reading

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Development Encounters in Buenos Aires’ Affordable Housing, 1964-1973

By Leandro Benmergui, Purchase College-SUNY “To Enter into the Present” was the suggestive title of a 1971 booklet the Buenos Aires city government prepared for new residents of the Ciudad General Belgrano (CGB)—a housing complex of 3024 low-rise single-family homes intended … Continue reading

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Chile, France, and the Construction of the Santiago Metro

By Andra Chastain The Metro in Santiago, Chile, has an unlikely history. It opened to the public in September 1975, two years after the violent overthrow of Salvador Allende’s socialist government, while the country was reeling from the human rights … Continue reading

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Henri Lefebvre, Mao Zedong, and the Global Urban Concept

By Stuart Schrader Global urban history takes three primary forms. One is to direct the analytic gaze beyond Euro-America, to cities that were once “off the map” of urban studies. Another is to study the interconnections among far-flung cities. Extensive … Continue reading

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No Need to Go to Paris Anymore: Brazilians’ visits to Buenos Aires around 1900

By Ori Preuss, Tel Aviv University “The enthusiasm with which he described what he calls the ‘the major phenomenon of the Latin race in the nineteenth century,’ his endless admiration for a growth unmatched by any other people of our … Continue reading

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Searching for Meiji-Tokyo: Heterogeneous Visual Media and the Turn to Global Urban History, Digitalization, and Deep Learning

By Beate Löffler, University of Duisburg-Essen, Carola Hein, Delft University of Technology, and Tino Mager, Delft University of Technology For a long time, urban history, as a field of study, focused on textual sources and elite subjects, and the scholars … Continue reading

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The Urban Environmental History of West Ham and the River Lea

By Jim Clifford, University of Saskatchewan Greater London’s population increased by five million during the nineteenth century and the city developed into a major center of industry, transforming the marshlands of the Thames Estuary into polluted and crowded urban landscapes. … Continue reading

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